I am delight­ed to announce this morn­ing that Jay Inslee — my rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Con­gress and a true cham­pi­on for eco­nom­ic secu­ri­ty and envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion — will be speak­ing at NPI’s 2011 Spring Fundrais­ing Gala (with all pro­ceeds to ben­e­fit NPI), hap­pen­ing two weeks from tomor­row on Mer­cer Island.

If you fol­low nation­al pol­i­tics, you know that Jay has been a coura­geous leader on a great many issues, who has been unafraid to take tough votes. Jay vot­ed against the cre­ation of the Trou­bled Assets Relief Pro­gram (TARP) in 2008, and more recent­ly, he vot­ed against extend­ing the Bush tax cuts for mil­lion­aires and bil­lion­aires. He has stood up to save Inter­net radio sta­tions and fought for net neu­tral­i­ty. And he has worked tire­less­ly to per­suade his col­leagues to invest in renew­able ener­gy so Amer­i­ca can break its depen­dence on fos­sil fuels.

Jay is a true leader who walks his talk. He’s trust­wor­thy and depend­able. That’s why we’re so excit­ed that he’s going to be join­ing Peter Stein­brueck, Scott Mack­lin, and Reuven Car­lyle as speak­ers at our 2011 Spring Fundrais­ing Gala.

If you haven’t bought a tick­et to our event yet, now’s the time:

Can’t make the event? You can still make a donation!

NPI needs your help today to con­tin­ue orga­niz­ing and mobi­liz­ing for change.

We know times are tough and things seem bleak. Fund­ing for vital pub­lic ser­vices is being gut­ted while tax breaks for pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions that are mak­ing big prof­its are being left intact. Con­gress and state leg­is­la­tures are mak­ing short­sight­ed deci­sions… or they’re on the verge of doing so.

But if we want to do some­thing about this sor­ry sit­u­a­tion and pre­vent our qual­i­ty of life from being fur­ther jeop­ar­dized, we need to strength­en our move­ment. We need to build infra­struc­ture that enables us to com­mu­ni­cate and orga­nize more effec­tive­ly. The oth­er side is way ahead of us.

That’s why they’ve been able to frame the debate on their terms. We’ve been stuck in a pure­ly defen­sive mind­set for too long.

I found­ed in NPI in 2003 because I came to the real­iza­tion that main­tain­ing a per­ma­nent defense against Tim Eyman’s ini­tia­tives was­n’t enough. When we neu­tral­ize right wing ini­tia­tives, all we are doing is stop­ping bad things from hap­pen­ing to our region. Defense does­n’t move us forward.

NPI was cre­at­ed to help the pro­gres­sive move­ment go on offense. We are here to empow­er fel­low activists, to research and pro­pose ideas that are in har­mo­ny with pro­gres­sive val­ues, and to reframe the debate.

But we can’t do this all by our­selves… your sup­port makes what we do pos­si­ble. We want to give you an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see in per­son how we’re stretch­ing your dol­lars, meet oth­er sup­port­ers, and hear from inspi­ra­tional speak­ers, while enjoy­ing refresh­ments and great music from local artists. That’s what our Spring Fundrais­ing Gala is all about. We hope you’ll join us on April 28th.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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